An ancient Indian discipline that has been around for more than 5,000 years, yoga is here to stay. Yoga was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s, but it didn’t hit the spotlight until it was featured on a television show in the 1960s, becoming mainstream in the 1970s.
There are many different types of yoga, which is great, because it opens up the practice to a wide range of people and it gives participators the freedom to pursue the type that is best suited for them. Yoga is often performed to increase strength, flexibility and inner peace, supplying many health benefits to those who practice yoga regularly.
Some health benefits of yoga:
- Reduces stress
- Declutters the mind
- Minimizes muscle tension
- Enhances muscle strength
- Improves respiration
- Increases flexibility
- Boosts endurance and energy
- Helps weight loss
Yoga is much more than just a workout – it is a spiritual, mental and physical technique that focuses on breathing and stretching through poses and meditation. Respected and beloved by people all over the world, yoga studios can be found everywhere, from Paris to Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro.
Luckily for us in San Diego, there are dozens (probably hundreds!) of yoga studios and fitness facilities that offer yoga classes. However, this can be an undesirable expense for someone who just wants to try yoga or participate in yoga sparingly. So we found five weekly free or pay-what-you-can yoga classes that you can try.
1. Beach Yoga
Where & When: Mission Beach at Ormond Court, daily at 11 a.m.; Imperial Beach at 10 Evergreen Street every Friday at 2:30 p.m.; Sunset Cliffs at Hill Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard starting in May
What: Join the only free beach yoga classes offered daily in the world. Participants pay whatever they can afford for these beginner-friendly yoga classes.
When: Check their website for the schedule
Where: 1150 7th Avenue, downtown
What: These classes are free, because they are taught by teachers in training. Do not attend these classes if you have injuries or special needs.
When: Every Sunday, 11 a.m. to noon
Where: Balboa Park at 6th Avenue and Laurel Street, meet at a huge tree
What: This outdoor session allows for one-on-one attention from the instructor. People of all skill levels are welcome. The event is free, but suggests a $10 donation or whatever you can afford.
When: Every Thursday from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Where: Balboa Park Activity Center
What: These free beginner-friendly classes (for adults 18+) help people relieve effects from chronic stress, give movement to the spine and soothe the organs. Sign up at the Balboa Park Activity Center front counter; each class allows eight students maximum.
When: Every Wednesday at 11 a.m. to noon
Where: War Memorial Building at 3325 Zoo Boulevard, Room 2
What: All ages and abilities are welcome to experience this weekly free laughter yoga class, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Yoga is an excellent exercise for people of all ages who want to improve their flexibility, strength and endurance, or for people looking for a new way to destress and relax. We welcome you to attend one of these free yoga classes to find out if it’s helpful for you. If you decide yoga isn’t for you, learn about other beneficial exercises by reading Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.